mash houseFall is in the air and school is in session. In addition to Friday Night Lights, it’s homework and carpooling season. For educators that means testing, teaching and mentoring students — and more. Reuben Stocks is the master brewer at The Mash House, and his wife used to be an educator. 

“They are such a big part of the community. Educators do so much to help kids. Most people who haven’t been involved in education don’t realize how much they do,” he said. 

So when The Mash House management started thinking about how to give back to the community, honoring educators and the work they do seemed like an obvious choice. On Saturday, Oct. 1, The Mash House, in partnership with the Cumberland County Schools, will host a parking lot party. Admission is free and open to the public.

Food and drink tickets are $2 each. The menu includes burgers (two tickets per burger) and beer (one ticket per beer).  Tickets are available for purchase at the door. Educators, though, get four free tickets. “This event is open to the public to come and celebrate teachers and other people who work in the school system, so we will have some free tickets for educators to have a meal on us. We’ll also have live music and corn hole games,” said Stocks. “There will be a TV set up outside for people to keep up with how their team is doing, too. There will be a lot going on. It should be a lot of fun.” 

Attendees can look forward to prizes and giveaways throughout the day as well. The John Dupree Band will provide the live music throughout the day.

Cumberland Count Schools Beginning Teacher Support Coordinator Tina Chapman noted that everyone is invited. It is a great way to show local educators that they have the support of the community. “We’ve invited the assistant principals, principals.” Chapman noted, adding that Cumberland County Schools Board members are also invited. “I have also invited Todd McCAbe, our teacher of the 2016/2017 school year to say a few words.” Mayor Nat Robertson and CCS Superintendent Dr. Frank Till are also scheduled to attend, along with other local dignitaries. 

Beer connoisseurs, come thirsty. Stocks plans to serve the eight staples the Mash House serves; however, expect something new. 

“We will release our Oktoberfest that day. We will also have our Mash House Blonde and IPA for the hop heads that show up.  We will do our red ale, which is a style to fit for those that don’t care for the other three,” he added.

While the party is outside, this is the perfect chance to take a peek at the newly decorated Mash House interior. “We renovated the main dining area. We have new lights and fixtures and new paint and carpet. It has a nice ambience,” said Stocks. “We have a new semi-private dining room to host private events. We are excited about that because previously we could only do that on our patio — and as you know, North Carolina weather can be up and down.”

While the event is a celebration of community educators, Chapman pointed out that public attendance is a big part of the event. “It gives teachers the feeling they are appreciated and valued here. Building relationships with community helps the public to know what the teachers do every day in the classroom and let them know they are valued. The teachers and administrators definitely walk away feeling good about their role in the community and feeling appreciated. This truly is one of the biggest feel-good events of the year for us. Helping to plan things like this is my favorite part of my job.” 

The fun starts at noon and runs through 4 p.m.  Call 867.9223 for more information.

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